Weather

State and city flags are seen near the Killeen Civic Center as storm clouds and high winds blow through the city Monday, Feb. 19, 2018.

Don’t venture outside Wednesday night in Killeen, experts say.

A forecast of severe thunderstorms that could produce tornadoes and up to baseball-size hail Wednesday night into early Thursday remains for the Killeen area and much of the state, according to the National Weather Service.

Storms will develop to the west of the Interstate-35 corridor during the mid to late evening hours, said Daniel Huckaby, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth. The storms will move at a quick clip, according to Huckaby, so flooding isn’t a concern from the expected inch of rain.

Huckaby said hail that could be as large as golf balls or baseballs, up to 70 mph winds and potential for tornadoes are the main concerns for the Killeen area.

“It’s best not to venture out when these storms are approaching,” Huckaby said. “The environment tonight is very primed for severe weather.”

If caught outside, enclosed buildings or cars can provide shelter, according to NWS. It is important to avoid open spaces, isolated objects and high ground as well as to stay away from bodies of water.

Parking under overpasses during hail is not recommended, as NWS experts say it increases the likelihood of traffic accidents. Moreover, the expected high winds could blow hail under overpasses, according to NWS.

In the event of a tornado warning, residents are urged to stay indoors and away from windows. A "safe" room without windows and at least two walls sheltering residents from the outside should be occupied in the event of a tornado warning, NWS says.

Local entities, including the Killeen Independent School District, are taking precautions in light of the forecast.

All after-school activities have been cancelled for Mountain View Elementary, Peebles Elementary, Clarke Elementary, Sugar Loaf Elementary, Timber Ridge Elementary and Eastern Hills Middle School due to the potential for severe weather, KISD officials said.

Principals will send out an automated message to parents to inform them of cancellations, according to KISD.

In addition, all sub varsity baseball games scheduled for Wednesday night have been cancelled. The Ellison High School baseball game at Waco Midway scheduled for Wednesday has been moved to Thursday.

mpayne@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7553

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